Hot weather and low rainfall have combined to increase the risk of toxic algae throughout the greater Wellington region, with some rivers now over the limit for safe swimming. It is advised not to swim, children should be supervised and kept well away from water, and dogs should be kept on a leash at the following sites:
Kapiti Coast: There has been a large increase in toxic algae in the Otaki River with a substantial build-up of detached mats. It is advised not to swim or walk dogs in, or near, the river. Toxic algal levels have also increased significantly in the Waikanae River south of SH1 and detached mats are present. These sites are being monitored weekly by KCDC.
Ruamahanga: Toxic algae main-stem of the Ruamahanga River has increased this week. It is advised to avoid swimming or dog walking at the following sites: Ruamahanga River at Double Bridges, Waihenga River and Waiohine River at SH2
Waingawa River: Toxic algae at the Waingawa River at South Road site has increased significantly with moderate levels of detached mats. It is advised not to sim or walk dogs in the area, and to keep children away from the river's edge where detached mats can accumulate.
South Coast streams (Red Rocks): The Waipapa and Hape streams (Hape Stream is near the Red Rocks car park) both have significant levels of toxic algae. Advised to keep dogs on leash. Note: no issue for divers in the ocean.
Find out more about toxic algae at http://www.gw.govt.nz/safeswim/ so that you can keep yourself safe, wherever you are.
Check out the latest video that shows what toxic algae looks like.